Hermit's Corner Meetingbrook Home Page
Bookshop & Bakery Running comments on Meetingbrook
Hermitage Update About Meetingbrook
Meetingbrook Events Meetingbrook Home Page

Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage Update
August 2004

Theme: Hermits in the Open

A hermit enters the sanctuary of what is here with silence and stillness.

We are hermits.

A hermit looks into who they are, sees nothing to hold on to, and walks through the world with ever-attentive and appreciative unknowing -- continuously inviting humility and compassion.

A hermit is alone in this.

Night sitting
The hermit doesn’t sleep at night:
In love with the blue of the vacant moon.
The cool of the breeze
That rustles the trees
Rustles him too.

- Ching An (1841–1920)

Actually, we’re all alone. Not necessarily lonely. Just alone.

August arrives. We attempt to be alert in a dangerous time. Important decisions will be made. A presidential contest. An important and dangerous decision in an atmosphere of doubt, mistrust, and intense inquiry into the health of the country.

“You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds….What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.”
(in Utopia, by St. Thomas More, 1478-1535)

Learning to be a hermit in the marketplace has its benefits. Everyone lets you know how poorly you are doing. How so? Ask any hermit who dwells in physical solitude. There is a point of view that claims if you are with or near others, the hermit life is compromised.

This point of view does not see the aloneness of one another. Nor does it see the joyful sound playing through the alert and unknowing presence with which we grace one another.

This unknowing, this innocence, longs to play its beauty through us.

Some goldfinches were having a melodious argument at the edge of a puddle. The birds wanted to bathe, or perhaps just to dip their heads and look at themselves, and they were having trouble with who should be first, and so on. So they discussed it while I stood in the distance, listening. Perhaps in Tibet, in the old holy places, they also have such fragile bells. Or are these birds really just that, bells come to us—come to this road in America—let us bow our heads and remember now how we used to do it, say a prayer. Meanwhile the birds bathe and splash and have a good time. Then they fly off, their dark wings opening from their bright, yellow bodies; their tiny feet, all washed, clasping the air.
(Poem: "Goldfinches" by Mary Oliver, from Owls and Other Fantasies © Beacon Press, 2003)

Our feet follow a thin trail worn into the hillside of the way we see one another.

This foot path, this Laura, leads us to and through one another.

Here and alone --  in the presence of what is wholly anticipating us – we pray with silence and stillness.

We are each wed to each in the glorious revelation of Christ transfigured.

We are hermits in the open.

, Sando , Cesco , Mu-ge
and all who grace Meetingbrook

Feast of the Transfiguration

Email (mono@meetingbrook.org) or mail to
Meetingbrook, 50 Bayview St. Camden, Maine 04843.



HomeEventsHermitage Update Bookshop & Bakery
Bookshop Recommendations About MeetingbrookHermit's Corner


Meetingbrook Hermitage
64 Barnstown Rd.,
Camden, Maine USA 04843
Meetingbrook Bookshop & Bakery
50 Bayview St. (Cape on the harbor)
Camden, Maine USA 04843
e-mail: mono@meetingbrook.org

© Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage

Web design by Karl Gottshalk